"10) "Shuttin' Detroit Down" John Rich. On matter of national crisis and national shame, as usual, country shoots first. That doesn't mean one likes the aim (cf. Keith comma Toby), but there's something remarkable about how quick is the draw. In mid-November of 2008, the CEOs of Chrysler and GM arrived in Washington to request bailout money — in private jets. By January, the dwarfier half of Big & Rich had recorded this song. The chord progression's pretty prêt-a-porter, but it's hard not to be captivated by a song that draws its lexicon equally from talk radio (Wall Street vs. Main Street, etc) and from political economy, from whence it conjures with impressive clarity the distance between "the real economy" and finance: "pardon me if I don't shed a tear," runs the leadup to the chorus, "they're selling make-believe, and we don't buy that here." It's a wonder he doesn't mention fictitious capital. And then the chorus:
Cause in the real world they're shuttin' Detroit down
While the bossman takes his bonus pay and jets on outta town
DC's bailin' out them bankers as the farmers auction ground
Yeah while they're livin' it up on Wall Street in the New York City town,
Here in the real world they're shuttin' Detroit down.
...and then it goes into the specifics of retirement accounts! Equally remarkable for its subtlety and strangeness is the transfer that goes on almost unannounced, wherein the "real economy" is equated with the farmer who works the land — a core assumption of the genre, one might say — against the fancies of New York City bankers, but the opposite of Manhattan turns out to be not some agricultural scene, rather Motown. These places turn out to be fully swappable, because they are both the negative of fictitious capital. It's like he totally gets it about where value comes from. I mean really."
- jane dark
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